Inside Pulse » Hulk http://insidepulse.com A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Sat, 25 Oct 2014 16:00:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse no A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse » Hulk http://insidepulse.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://insidepulse.com Review: Axis: Avengers & X-Men #2 by Rick Remender & Adam Kubert http://insidepulse.com/2014/10/17/review-axis-avengers-x-men-2-by-rick-remender-adam-kubert/ http://insidepulse.com/2014/10/17/review-axis-avengers-x-men-2-by-rick-remender-adam-kubert/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 18:00:12 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=2002153

Axis: Avengers & X-Men #2

Written by: Rick Remender
Art by: Adam Kubert
Cover by: Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor
Colored by: Laura Martin & Matt Milla
Lettered by: Chris Eliopoulos

Published by: Marvel
Cover Price: $4.99

Note: This is a review of the digital version which can be found on Comixology.

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

For my review of the first issue, click here!

Summary (contains spoilers): Stark’s Sentinels are quickly demolishing the heroes. It seems he was thorough in programming them to be able to defeat any hero it might encounter.

Stark quickly realizes that they were built using his Civi War files, which means they would be focusing on heroes, not villains. He realizes that Magneto would have an advantage dealing with them. But instead of taking on the Sentinels, Magneto takes off, seemingly abandoning the fight.

Iron Man is knocked out…when he wakes up, he discovers that only a handful of heroes are left standing.

They make one last rush, but Red Onslaught and the Sentinels wipe them out. Stark is the last man standing…before Magneto arrives with reinforcements…

Review: It might seem like the summary for this issue was really short, but that was because so much of the issue was action and quick character moments, which doesn’t really make for a good summary.

I actually did like this issue a lot, but there were some issues I want to get out of the way before I get to the praise:

  1. A lot of this comic seemed to stray pretty close to the same story that was told in Forever Evil. All the big name heroes have been taken out by a all powerful bad guy and it is left to the villains to save the day. Hell, they even went with the “it looks like the heroes were all killed, but they were really just put in a holding facility.” (Firestorm in Forever Evil, a microscopic jail in Axis).  There is also a little of Tower of Babel here with Stark being the one who creates the plan to take out the heroes.
  2. It was odd to have Stark say early in the issue that the Sentinels were using Pym particles to shrink and imprison the heroes. The rest of the issue seems to keep trying to convince you that the heroes are being slaughtered…you get a lot of final goodbyes…but it’s clear from the beginning that everyone is fine and will be rallying back later on. They didn’t even try to build the tension here.
  3. There is a strange flaw in the logic here…Stark’s files ONLY contain ways of dealing with heroes?  You’d think that he would have at least something in there about dealing with bad guys, especially Magneto.  This seemed like a bit of a plot contrivance to allow the bad guys to make the save.
  4. That stupid Axis banner on the top and bottom of the pages was back…though it was at least on less pages this time. Progress…however small.

That said, this was an excellent comic that really overcame what could have been some huge glaring issues.  I had so much fun reading this comic that I didn’t even think of many of these things until I gave it some thought and a re-read in order to give it a fair review.

One thing that really stood out for me were all the great character moments. Some quick examples were Falcon and Stark:

Stark and Magneto:

The Summer Brothers:

And Nova and Rogue:

While the story itself was dark and fast moving, there was a lot of these quick character moments that showed the characters and their relationships in a good light.   This was the first time in a long time I read a Marvel event where I really felt that the writer got the characters and was making an effort to make the reader understand why these characters are so important and beloved. They weren’t just lifeless game pieces to facilitate a story.

Another thing I loved was that Adam Kubert didn’t get into disaster porn here. The characters are falling, but so much of this issue keeps the big action just slightly off panel. I thought that kept the focus on the characterizations, which were the strength of the book. Too often these events turn into “let’s see how many heroes get their asses kicked by the bad guy,” but that was kept to a minimum here. We get glimpses of the fight and the “monster” that is Red Onslaught. I am sort of reminded of something like Cloverfield, and I thought that was a clever way of telling a comic event that I’ve never seen before.  This might bother some readers, but I always like when creators try to do something different.

I also thought this issue’s art was much more consistent than issue 1.

OH! And if anyone wants the whole story on how Magneto gathered these villains together, check out Magneto #11. It was an excellent tie in issue to this comic.

This comic did have it’s flaws, but I thought it overcame them brilliantly.  There was a lot to love about this issue, and I have really enjoyed Axis so far.


Title: Axis: Avengers & X-Men #2
Written By: Rick Remender
Art By: Adam Kubert
Company: Marvel
Price: $3.99
Pros:
  • Great characterization
  • Pretty clever way of telling the story with keeping the focus on the characters and a lot of the action off panel.
  • Art was much more consistent this time.
Cons:
  • Again with the stupid banners on the tops and bottoms of pages.  Distracting and annoying!
  • Reminded me a little too much of Forever Evil.
Is it worth your $3.99? 9.0/10 – Cheaper than the first issue, and a lot more consistent art. I did thing this leaned a little too closely towards Forever Evil, but it was very well done.

 
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Review: Axis: Avengers & X-Men #1 by Rick Remender & Adam Kubert http://insidepulse.com/2014/10/08/review-axis-avengers-x-men-1-by-rick-remender-adam-kubert/ http://insidepulse.com/2014/10/08/review-axis-avengers-x-men-1-by-rick-remender-adam-kubert/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 21:00:48 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=2001396

Axis: Avengers & X-Men #1

Written by: Rick Remender
Art by: Adam Kubert
Cover by: Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor
Colored by: Laura Martin & Matt Milla
Lettered by: Chris Eliopoulos

Published by: Marvel
Cover Price: $4.99

Note: This is a review of the digital version which can be found on Comixology.

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Summary (contains spoilers): Uncanny Avengers #25 ended with Magneto killing Red Skull…which causes him to evolve into the Red Onslaught.

This issue starts with the Avengers dealing with plants trying to overrun the city. These plants are being controlled by Plant Man, who is pissed at “the Great Polluter” Tony Stark.

Sam Wilson seems to be doing well in his new role as Captain America. He has taken on a leadership role with the team, and seemed to be doing a pretty good job…until all hell breaks loose. He is attacked by Thor, who seems to have Red Skull telepathically whispering in his head. Red Skull does the same thing to the other Avengers, turning them on each other. At first, Iron Man assumes that Plant Man is doing this using pheromones, so he takes him down. He immediately realizes that he was wrong when Hulk attacks him with Red Skull antagonizing him about Stark’s involvement in Banner’s origin.

Iron Man realizes there is telepathy at work here, and uses a “telepathic inverter” to stop it. Steve Rogers radios in, and tells Stark that hate riots are happening all over the world.

Meanwhile, in Genosha, the Red Onslaught is easily overpowering the Uncanny Avengers while he plans to form “The Reich Eternal.” Red Onslaught is using his powers to turn the Uncanny Avengers against each other. At some point, Red Onslaught had also captured Quentin Quire, Cyclops, and Genesis. Havok attacks Cyclops fueled by Red Onslaught. Genesis tries to stop him, only to get impaled by Ahab.

Rogue touches Onslaught and comes in contact with a sliver of Xavier’s mind. He tells her that this is the biggest threat the world has ever faced and Rogue needs to stop it, at all costs. He also tells her that he’s certain she can handle that pressure.

Ahab tries to speak Havok, but Cyclops gets in the way to save his brother, getting a spear in the shoulder in the process.

Rogue works to inspire Wanda to rejoin the fight, and the Avengers arrive on the scene…moments later, the X-Men arrive. Immediately, the X-Men seem to FINALLY be willing to put aside their differences for the greater good. BLESS YOU, REMENDER!!!

All the heroes fight Red Onslaught with Stark protecting them using his telepathic inverter. But, before they can claim victory, Skull reveals that he had been telepathically manipulating Stark for some time, having him build weapons for Skull’s war.  The issue ends with two massive adamantium Stark Sentinels arriving on the scene.


Review: As you might have noticed during my Original Sin reviews, I like events and I don’t have a lot of the same negativity a lot of reviewers do. If you are looking for a review bashing this book, you are probably in the wrong place. I genuinely enjoyed this comic!

I was hooked from page one.  I loved the banter on the opening pages. It really felt like the heroes actually enjoyed being heroes, which is a rarity in comics these days…

I especially liked that this book seemed to have tight continuity without beating the reader over the head with it. Sam Wilson is Cap. Steve Rogers is old. Thor is missing his hammer. Wolvie is nowhere in sight (though because of delays, Death of Wolverine isn’t actually done yet). I thought that worked really well.

One thing that really pissed me off about this comic was the stupid looking Axis header and footer on most of the early pages. It made the art looked real cramped and added nothing to the comic for me. Thankfully, once you hit the title page (which is deep into the issue), that stops (for the most part), but I never figured out the point of it.

Actually, the art throughout the whole issue was kind of inconsistent. In order to show as many characters as possible, there are a lot of real pulled back shots that I didn’t think served the issue well. It just felt hurried at times. There was plenty of decent art through this issue, but definitely some panels I thought could have been much better.

But I typically care more about writing than art, and I thought Remender did a great job here.  In a lot of ways, this sort of is the perfect bookend to Avengers Vs X-Men (which I mostly hated). In AvX, Marvel’s heroes split…over things that don’t make a lot of sense. Axis’s first issue seems to have finally reunited them to deal with a world-wide threat. Granted, I do kind of think that turning Red Skull into Onslaught was a real ridiculous way to create that threat…I think Red Skull watches Heroes and was inspired by Syler. But the end result is a good comic, and to get that, I have no problem accepting some suspension of disbelief.

This issue went a long way towards addressing my biggest complaints about Marvel lately.  The heroes seemed to enjoy being heroes and were willing to put aside petty differences in order to fight the good fight.  Hell, to me, the X-Men FINALLY getting on the same page, which was always a huge contrivance to me, made this comic worth the price of admission as far as I was concerned. I especially loved Beast’s battle cry:

I also thought the way Remender resolved story threads he’s been creating for a long time over in Uncanny Avengers was done very well. It is real hard to keep strong characterization in a story like this, but Remender balanced it perfectly. There were a lot of moments in this issue that had a huge impact on me, especially when Cyclops tried to save Havok.

I definitely thought this issue got Axis off to a good start! Definitely HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Title: Axis: Avengers & X-Men #1
Written By: Rick Remender
Art By: Adam Kubert
Company: Marvel
Price: $4.99
Pros:
  • X-Men reunited!  I just hope it sticks.
  • I thought the dialouge throughout was great, especially the fun banter.
  • Great start to Axis!
Cons:
  • WHAT WAS WITH THOSE STUPID BANNERS ON TOP AND BOTTOM OF THE FIRST HALF OF THIS COMIC???
  • The art is very inconsistent.
  • Red Skull as Onslaught was kind of dumb, but I thought it ended up working well enough.
Is it worth your $3.99? 8.5/10 –   Remender hit all the right notes for me.  This comic was just a lot of fun.  Get rid of the stupid banners and tighten the art up, and this would have easily earned a 9.

 
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Avengers Now Review: Hulk #5 By Gerry Duggan, Mark Bagley & Andy Hennessy http://insidepulse.com/2014/08/13/avengers-now-review-w-hulk-5-by-gerry-duggan-mark-bagley-andy-hennessy/ http://insidepulse.com/2014/08/13/avengers-now-review-w-hulk-5-by-gerry-duggan-mark-bagley-andy-hennessy/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 15:30:47 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=364829 Editor’s Notes:

Spoilers follow.

HULK #5 Review

“The W Hulk” chapter 1

Story by: Gorgeous Gerry Duggan
Art by: Monstrous Mark Bagley and Dandy Andy Hennessy
Colors by: Racin’ Jason Keith
Letters by: Cool Hand VC’S Cory Petit
Covers by: Amazing Alex Ross, Gregarious Gary Frank with Rad Brad Anderson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Gerry Duggan on HULK?!? I have to admit I was minutely skeptical to have a man who’s known for main claim to fame is comedy, he does quite a smashing job here (pun intended!)

There’s no rest for the wicked. Hulk in his newest persona of Doc Green gets busy dismantling gamma-powered weapons from the fictional country of North Valnon. So much for another attempt at invasion. Gerry can’t completely remain humorless and uses a tidbit on the second page when some climbers in the Himalayas mistakenly assume the Hulk is the famed Yeti.

I admire writers with encyclopedic knowing, thus having a penchant for using obscure characters. Case in point: The Enclave. In one succinct sentence you know who they are — former would-be conquerors and that their headquarters is colloquially known as the Beehive. New characters are introduced as this group is all science-minded. Doc Green has assembled his own crew to further him in his newest endeavour: Patricia Woman, microneural biologist. Randall Jessup, renewable energies. Damon Veteri, molecular engineer. Melinda Leucenstern, climatologist and astrophysicist. There’s no beating around the bush as the Hulk Doc Green tells them all they will be dismissed after their help with the task at hand. The Jade Giant makes use of a clever pun in telling them that they will all get a big, “green” retention for their service.

Down to the nitty-gritty. Doc needs these scientists to help him develop a serum that will cure gamma radiation induced transformations. As such, like every other cliché out there from every other scientist playing God, “the world is in peril and only we can save it.” You say potato, I say whack-job!! Right from the get-go, one of the scientists blurts that such a feat is “impossible”.

I’ll admit that I’m not an avid Hulk reader. I love the big green guy enough and realize that he is a multi-layered character but the mystery deepens with Bruce Banner’s fate. The recap page is an excellent reminder and indicator. Extremis saved Bruce’s brain but also allowed the Hulk to retain full control and evolve past the dichotomous/symbiotic relationship. What has me real curious is who shot Bruce? I don’t know if that was revealed at the end of Indestructible Hulk or in the first arc of this series.

Mystery abounds — (1) Hulk no longer exists according to this persona. It is a name he abhors and it was given to him by his “captor”. (2) The new members of the Enclave had a previous relationship with Doc’s “silent partner”. (3) Pursuing Bruce’s attacker is not a priority and a “private matter”.

Here’s the twist, the bombshell to it all (pun intended again!) — Doc will rid the world of all gamma-irradiated individuals but this cure will not work on himself!! *gasp* Quite convenient, isn’t it? It’s obvious who the first ‘targets’ or ‘victims’ will be as vials coloured in red, blue, and green are shown.

NERDGASM ALERT!! Melinda deduces that adamantium is needed to produce the nanites. Doc affirms her deduction and takes her into a portal that leads to………Kang the Conqueror’s trophy room!!! She logically asks “Where as we?” while Doc corrects her by asking “When are we?” The portal is the ‘end of time’. Even I was stricken with some fear when I saw Ultron’s ‘lifeless’ body hanging there while Doc makes use of one of his limbs. Any connection to the upcoming AVENGERS movie sequel? I wonder…

Final act. Our first lucky contender is none other than Rick Jones n.k.a. (now known as) A-Bomb! As is expected, the diplomatic approach is used first but failing that, Rick plows one into his long-time friend with the new personality and attitude. Looks like this Doc isn’t so smart after all if he assumed that the history between the two would make Rick “the easy one”. The best line is delivered at the very end — “*sigh* Guess it’s time to smash.” Yes! Score for all the fanboys (and girls)

Gerry delivers a solid script. Anyone who can write science mumbo-jumbo or technobabble gets my wholehearted applause. There’s the right mix of action, dialogue, and acknowledgements to past Marvel history. He expedites the story quickly since the sera are already developed and ready for use by the end of this chapter. This makes sense since the plot must advance quickly and Doc Green is not one to dilly-dally. I will confess that this was just an assignment to me but I’m hungry for the next four parts!!

Mark Bagley’s a true veteran. His art is clean, crisp, and clear-cut. There are two full-page spreads of Doc Green descending towards his target and pounding it with just one fist. The blur effect is opposite on each page. When descending, the blurred lines go upward. They are also diagonal from one another. When pummeling, the blurred lines are in a downward motion. The glares or blasts are also coloured differently: bright white to represent the sun, and red-orange to represent the full effect of the fist. Andy Hennessy inks expertly and Jason Keith compliments with colours. They use the right amount of shadow for nuancing and bright palettes for exposure. Cory Petit makes great use of onomatopoeia with words like “BWOMP” and my abso fave “SKRBLAMMO”.

One last thing: the page count. 20 pages or 22? There’s the recap and a ‘shameless’ full page of all black with the green letters “one week later”.

Observations:

  • Doc Green is no saviour. He purposely fired the rocket to wreck the train Rick was on.
  • I’m glad that the blue vial broke and that A-Bomb won’t be another annotation from yesteryear.

Lastly, looks like the former Hulk wants to be a solo act as he is determined to take down his Agents of S.M.A.S.H. starting with the ever-ebullient Rick Jones.

On the Gamma scale, this is a 9.0 achieving critical mass!!!


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Avengers Now: All-New Black Captain America’s Sidekick, Hulk #5 And Agents Of S.M.A.S.H. Plus A Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #1 Marvel Comics Reveal! SPOILERS http://insidepulse.com/2014/08/12/avengers-now-all-new-black-captain-americas-sidekick-hulk-5-and-agents-of-s-m-a-s-h-plus-a-bucky-barnes-the-winter-soldier-1-marvel-comics-reveal-spoilers/ http://insidepulse.com/2014/08/12/avengers-now-all-new-black-captain-americas-sidekick-hulk-5-and-agents-of-s-m-a-s-h-plus-a-bucky-barnes-the-winter-soldier-1-marvel-comics-reveal-spoilers/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 10:00:01 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=364234 Stemming from Marvel Comics’ new “Avengers Now” publishing initiative (spoilers here) where we have a all-new black Captain America, a potentially evil Iron Man, a female Thor, a genius Thor and a lot more, new information continues to trickle out.

Here are three news items concerning the black Captain America, Hulk and The Winter Soldier.

Spoilers follow.

You have been warned!

All-New Captain America’s All-New Sidekick

During his recent Dimension Z sojourn, Steve Rogers effectively adopted the son of Armin Zola: Ian Zola Rogers. It turns out than Ian will be the all-new black Captain America’s new sidekick Nomad. Now Falcon-as-Cap has his own wingman…

We also get a look at what a de-powered, sans Super Solider formula, Steve Rogers looks like through the Ed McGuinness pencilled cover to October 2014’s Death of Wolverine: Deadpool and Captain America #1. Wolverine’s two pals team up to ensure a dead wolverine’s DNA insisted harvest to creat more of him. How a de-powered Steve Roger can do that remains to be seen.

Hulk #5 Gets Extremeis!

A newly super-intelligent Hulk (whose origin is intertwined with Iron Man per Original Sin) begins his mission to rid the world of other gamma powered heroes and villains. Looks like he will start with his TV cartoon mates the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. per upcoming covers to Hulk #6 and #7 by artist Gary Frank. Also included below is the cover to this week’s Hulk #5.

Look out Red Hulk, Skaar (son of Hulk), She-Hulk Jennifer Walters and A-Bomb! Plus the Red She-Hulk and the “other” green She-Hulk Lyra (the daughter of Hulk and Thundra from an alternate future) (per the cover to Hulk #6 above.

Buck Barnes: The Winter Soldier Revealed!

The new ongoing Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier series had a partially blacked out cover for its debut issue. Now artist Marco Rudy has revealed the full cover (below right). Trippy? Should be since Bucky takes over Nick Fury Sr.’s dispassionate cosmic protector role as revealed in Original Sin.

Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome!

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Guardians of the Galaxy News: James Gunn Addresses Sequel, Hulk Rumors http://insidepulse.com/2014/07/21/guardians-of-the-galaxy-news-james-gunn-addresses-sequel-hulk-rumors/ http://insidepulse.com/2014/07/21/guardians-of-the-galaxy-news-james-gunn-addresses-sequel-hulk-rumors/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 19:53:20 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=358114 While the Guardians of the Galaxy movie isn’t even in theaters for another few days, there are already rumors spreading about a potential sequel.

guardiansofgalaxy500

In the Marvel comic book universe, the Incredible Hulk is involved in a storyline “Planet Hulk”, where the Hulk is banished from Earth.

GotG writer/director James Gunn addressed these rumors in a recent interview:
I can answer that question very easily: it is absolute, 100% bullshit… There’s not going to be a ‘Planet Hulk’ movie, there was never going to be a ‘Planet Hulk’ movie, there was never a plan for the Hulk to team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy – I wouldn’t want the Hulk to team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy! And it’s all a bunch of complete bullshit

The whole thing is, there’s Sakaraan in the movie. And the reason there’s Sakaraan in the movie is because there aren’t that many alien races in the Marvel Universe, and of those prominent alien races, such as the Kree and the Skrull…The reason we picked the Sakaraan is because we don’t own Badoon. In the script it originally said Badoon… So you can blame search and replace for changing Badoon to Sakaaran and leading to the whole ‘Planet Hulk’ conspiracy

So that should put any rumors to rest. Guardians of the Galaxy is in theatres on Friday August 1, 2014 and Inside Pulse Movies will have full coverage leading into the premiere including our exclusive review.

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Original Sin #3.1 Hulk Vs. Iron Man Spoilers & Review: What Is The Dark Secret That May Tear The All-New Marvel Now Avengers Apart? http://insidepulse.com/2014/06/25/original-sin-3-1-hulk-vs-iron-man-spoilers-review-what-is-the-dark-secret-that-may-tear-the-all-new-marvel-now-avengers-apart/ http://insidepulse.com/2014/06/25/original-sin-3-1-hulk-vs-iron-man-spoilers-review-what-is-the-dark-secret-that-may-tear-the-all-new-marvel-now-avengers-apart/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 09:00:49 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=357069 Original Sin releases one of its two “Point” mini-series for Original Sin this week with Original Sin #3.1 subtitled as Hulk vs. Iron Man. Before we get to that, let’s get you caught up on Original Sin goings-on:

Whew. Ok, you’re caught so far, so…

Spoilers and capsule review for Original Sin #3.1 follow.

The free preview for this issue established the Hulk is smashing Iron Man in modern-day. Seems he’s learned something about Tony Stark’s Original Sin pre-Iron Man.

Delving into the actual book, it seems that a future issue of Original Sin is preempted as I don’t recall the eye bomb going off yet. Anyhow, that is what causes Bruce Banner and Tony Stark to swap/share their Original Sin memories.

Ok, so what is the Original Sin between the Hulk and Iron Man? Well, we do find out that a younger, drunker and rich Tony Stark “war profiteer” crossed pathes with dovish Bruce Manner. They had a major disagreement where it was revealed that Bruce Banner had only supplied the Gamma bomb with the right amount of gamma despite the military wanting more.

Tony Stark either sabotages (in Bruce’s words) the gamma bomb or increased its potency to what the military wanted; either scenario was responsible for the actions that day that led to Bruce Banner being the Hulk!

The issue was interesting. This retcon adds a richness to the backstories of Iron Man and Hulk. I’m looking forward to more modern days scenes to see Hulk Smash!

Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome.



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Review: Avengers World #2 by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Spencer & Stefano Caselli http://insidepulse.com/2014/01/25/review-avengers-world-2-by-jonathan-hickman-nick-spencer-stefano-caselli/ http://insidepulse.com/2014/01/25/review-avengers-world-2-by-jonathan-hickman-nick-spencer-stefano-caselli/#comments Sat, 25 Jan 2014 18:00:39 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=347582 Avengers World #2

Written by: Jonathan Hickman & Nick Spencer
Art by: Stefano Caselli
Colored by: Frank Martin
Lettered by: Joe Caramagna
Published by: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

It amazes me how important Avengers has become to Marvel’s publishing strategy. When I was first starting comics, there were just two Avengers books…and Marvel seemed almost embarrassed by the name. At one point, they had ever renamed Avengers West Coast to Forceworks. You can blame that on the success of X-Force I guess. We also got Fantastic Force around the same time.

But between Bendis revitalizing Avengers and the success of the Marvel movieverse, Avengers has become a real hot property. Just like the letter “X,” Marvel now throws Avengers on every title. I really don’t have a problem with that, it’s just good marketing. And this book actually is an Avengers title, unlike books like Secret Avengers, Avengers Academy, or Avengers A.I.  But I still find it interesting.

ANY WAY, on with the review…

Summary (contains spoilers): While the first issue of Avengers World jumped around a little to show us several teams of Avengers engaged in different missions, this one picks up from Smasher, Sunspot, and Cannonball’s story. They have been tasked with infiltrating AIM island, which seems to be rapidly expanding, and they were knocked out at the end of the last issue.

This issue picks up with Smasher trying to break out of her cell. The Scientist Supreme tells his underlings to release her, and she starts to explore the island looking to rescue her missing teammates. She immediately finds that the island seems to be evolving.

She encounters the Scientist Supreme who apologizes for attacking the heroes, calling it confusion caused by the “birthing pains” for their attempts to jump start AIM and the human race.

According to the Scientist Supreme, AIM is looking to make the world a better place through science. I just think they are hoping to evolve out of dressing like beekeepers.

Despite claiming to be allies, he has a robot bug inject Smasher with something. We find out that AIM is working with the Entropic Man. Smasher’s body starts to change, and the Scientist Supreme says that she will be his messenger to tell the world “Everything Dies.” When she is done changing, her costume looks like Yellowjacket, and that is where the issue ends.

Review: Upfront I do have one major complaint about this book. The whole reason I was buying this book is because of how great Spencer wrote Cannonball and Sunspot in the Marvel Now preview issue. I am a long time New Mutants fan, and it’s been great to see these two having fun for a change.  BUT, they were knocked out this entire issue. BOO!!!  Bait and switch!! All right, all right, I will admit, that really didn’t take away from me enjoying this issue all that much.

For the most part, I am not usually a big fan of Hickman’s writing. I tried his Fantastic Four and his Avengers, and it just wasn’t for me. I do appreciate the massive scale he’s going for…but I just typically feel no real connection to his characters and stories. That said, I do like Nick Spencer quite a bit, and the two of them seem to work really well together on Avengers World.   Spencer seems to tone down some of Hickman’s “scale” and make it much easier for me as a reader to relate to Avengers World.

Another thing about this book that I have been enjoying is this “new” Bruce Banner. Ever since Mark Waid took over Hulk, I have had a lot more interest in Bruce Banner.  Banner has become cool and important, not just the lame nerd that the Hulk turns into in his time off. Admittingly, some of this is taken direct from the movie, and the new Banner seems to have a LOT of Tony Stark in him, but I find that much more interesting than the brooding Banner I am used to seeing.

This AIM evolution storyline has interesting, and Stefano Caselli is the perfect artist for the job. I loved how he drew the evolved AIM island. I also think he has a lot of detail on the characters.  Banner’s stubble jumped out at me in the above image for some reason.

I really am curious why Smasher ended up looking like Yellowjacket in the end though. That seemed kind of random.

My one big gripe about this comic is I did think some of the vague flashback sequences took away from the action a bit. 6 of the 21 pages were devoted to telling us that Smasher was inspired to becoming a superhero by her grandfather, a World War II era hero named Captain Terror. It just felt like padding to me.

Captain Terror also played a big part in All New Invaders which also came out this week.  I am curious if that’s related or a real odd coincidence.

All that said, this was a real strong issue. This is only the second comic I’ve read with the new Smasher, and I think she’s a great character. I don’t know why they changed her to Yellowjacket, but I am willing to wait and see.

I loved the interplay between Captain America, Banner, and Hill. I also liked that this Avengers team seems to be dealing with the politics of the world, and not just hero beating up bad guy. And AIM feels like a threat for a change. The issue is a little light on action, but I thought the narration and characterization was good and made up for that.

I definitely think Avengers World is worth giving a look, even if you passed on Hickman’s earlier Avengers work like I did!

Final Score: 8.5: While I really couldn’t get into Hickman’s work on Avengers and New Avengers, Avengers World has really grabbed me! It’s the only Avengers book I am reading at the moment, and I love it!
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Disc News: Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk Pounds September http://insidepulse.com/2013/08/03/disc-news-ultimate-wolverine-vs-hulk-pounds-september/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/08/03/disc-news-ultimate-wolverine-vs-hulk-pounds-september/#comments Sat, 03 Aug 2013 21:26:50 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=336762 Do you need to know more that Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk was animated from the comic book panels? Can you feel the pounding and the slicing already? You’ll have to wait until September 10. Here’s the press release from Shout! Factory:

image003
From Damon Lindelof, the Co-Creator and Executive Producer of the Hit Television Series LOST, Legendary Artist Leinil Francis Yu and Superstar Colorist Dave McCaig

MARVEL KNIGHTS ANIMATION PRESENTS

ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK

Featuring Cover Art Illustration by Leinil Francis Yu

OWN IT ON DVD SEPTEMBER 10, 2013 FROM SHOUT! FACTORY

This Fall, Primetime Emmy® Award-winning television writer and creator Damon Lindelof (Lost) teams up with legendary artist Leinil Francis Yu (Secret Invasion) and superstar colorist Dave McCaig to bring to life the highly popular comic book series ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK. This action-packed story brings two of Marvel’s greatest heroes—Wolverine and the Hulk—together like never before for their most brutal encounter yet in Marvel Knights Animation’s ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK DVD debuting for the first time on home entertainment shelves nationwide on September 10, 2013 from Shout! Factory.

This highly anticipated Marvel Knights Animation series boasts unparalleled storytelling combined with rich visual animation and insightful bonus content. Featuring cover art illustration by Leinil Francis Yu, this deluxe DVD is collected in a unique comic book style packaging that bridges the comic book to DVD concept. Marvel Knights Animation’s ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK DVD is priced to own at $14.97 SRP.

An exclusive behind-the-scenes bonus content feature provides an intimate and retrospective look at the development and production process of this amazing story. Marvel Knights Animation remains true to the heritage of panel-by-panel graphic storytelling, boasting groundbreaking illustrations, sensational soundscapes, and of course, the explosiveness of the mighty Marvel universe. Behind every image and every word lies the genius of Marvel’s celebrated creators.

Synopsis:

Dr. Bruce Banner (a.k.a. the Hulk) has been presumed dead since his execution, following his murderous rampage through Manhattan as the Hulk. But when reports start cropping up of an unidentified creature appearing around the globe, Nick Fury begins to get worried. Not because Banner can turn from man to unstoppable monster in seconds, but because Banner’s existence is the one secret that can bring down Fury. So Fury turns to the only man he can trust: Wolverine. And he’s only too glad to take care of Banner – by any means necessary.

Special Bonus Content:

A retrospective interview with legendary artist Leinil Francis Yu and Marvel Knights Animation’s Supervising Producer Kalia Cheng gives fans an exclusive look into the making of ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK.
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Age of Ultron #10 Spoilers: BIG Changes Pose A Crisis For Marvel Now’s Multiverse? Or Time Is Broken? Or Both? http://insidepulse.com/2013/06/19/age-of-ultron-spoilers-big-changes-pose-a-crisis-for-marvel-nows-multiverse-time-is-broken/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/06/19/age-of-ultron-spoilers-big-changes-pose-a-crisis-for-marvel-nows-multiverse-time-is-broken/#comments Thu, 20 Jun 2013 00:30:00 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=334447 The heroes – led by a “few” Sue Richards(es?) / Invisible Women and Wolverines – fell Ultron and save the day for Marvel’s multiverse or do they? Looks like the barriers between worlds have been weakened resulting in some interesting moments including teasing of future storylines.

Naturally, spoilers follow for Age of Ultron #10.

The third double-page image below teases future storylines including Spider-Man 2099.

The weakening of the barriers leads to some interesting teases including Marvel 616’s Galactus setting is appetite on the Ultimate Universe.

Plus an angry Angela formally joins the Marvel Now 616’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

Oh, and a time-jumping Indestructible Hulk working to fix Marvel’s multiverse’s broken time?

What did you think of Age of Ultron as a maxi-series over a minimum of months and AoU #10 in particular?

Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome.


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Demythify: Time is Broken? Post Age of Ultron Marvel Now & Post Trinity War DC New 52 Shape Up Plus Dan DiDio & Axel Alonso Talk Comic Book Time http://insidepulse.com/2013/04/29/demythify-time-is-broken-post-age-of-ultron-marvel-now-post-trinity-war-dc-new-52-shape-up-plus-dan-didio-axel-alonso-talk-comic-book-time/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/04/29/demythify-time-is-broken-post-age-of-ultron-marvel-now-post-trinity-war-dc-new-52-shape-up-plus-dan-didio-axel-alonso-talk-comic-book-time/#comments Mon, 29 Apr 2013 04:00:21 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=331075

Thanks for popping by and checking out my weekly Monday Demythify column.

I’m also writing a weekly weekend column for Bleeding Cool called Comics Realism.

This past weekend my BC topic was: The Injustice of Digital Comics & Trade-Waiting. Check it out!

In this week’s Demythify, I follow-up on last week’s Comic Book Time topic plus we dissect the C2E2 comic book news in the post Age of Ultron and Post Trinity Wars Marvel and DC Universes.


Dan DiDio & Axel Alonso talk DC, Marvel & Comic Book Time

In response to my Demythify column last week, “Marvel Now’s Age of Ultron, DC Comics’ Flashpoint Paradox & New 52 Tackle The Challenge of Comic Book Time”, DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio responded on his facebook account by acknowledging that:

    “As long as our readers age (at least physically) at a quicker pace than our characters, we will always need to contemporize the worlds and settings of our heroes.”

As I noted last week, unlike Marvel of the past, DC Comics has embraced fantasy to address the comic book time conundrum by having events that transpire in their comics to explain any continuity changes. They’ve done this since 1986’s with Crisis on Infinite Earths to 2011’s Flashpoint.

Also last week, Marvel Comics’ Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso shared his perspective on comic book time over at CBR when asked about the Secret Origin of Tony Stark arc underway in the Iron Man Marvel Now comic book series:

    …When [writer] Kieron [Gillen] pitched this story, he had to run the gauntlet of the editorial summit so, rest assured, what he’s crafted is a story that will be satisfying to the most continuity-minded reader. It’s bound to cause debate, but Kieron definitely did his homework.

    Let’s be clear about one thing: This story doesn’t totally change Tony Stark’s origin. It reveals a heretofore-unrevealed pocket in his origin that, shall we say, deeply illuminates who he is and his relationship with his mother and his father. It also introduces a major new character who’ll be very important to Tony’s future — I can’t emphasize enough how important. You will look at Tony very differently at the end of the story.

    What do you look for in a pitch that redefines an origin? Honesty and extra effort in the research. If you’re going to do something like this, you can’t contradict what’s held to be “canon” about the character, and you have to consider what it will subtract or add to the character down the road. If your story will lead to a well-spring of fascinating stories, you’re onto something.

I think Axel is saying that the Secret Origin of Tony Stark keeps the “essence” of his previous origin and inserts new elements to a period of time not explored before; that both continuity and non-continuity could embrace the arc.

Tony Stark’s origin’s “essence” has been intact for years, but the key “War” element backdrop has changed overtime. As noted in last week’s column, Tony Stark (created in 1963) became Iron Man during the Vietnam War (1955-1975) originally, then the Gulf War (1990-1991) and then during the Afghanistan War (2001).

So, is the Secret Origin of Tony Stark another example of “boom” origin changed and this the new past, let’s move on? No in-continuity explanation for why previous continuity has changed? Can continuity and non-continuity fans both embrace that? Hmmm.


Marvel Now vs. Broken Time

Despite not mucking with time as much as DC, Marvel does have Age of Ultron (AoU) going on currently; a 10 issue, twice-monthly maxi-series that pits fractured future Marvel heroes – in a world ruled by Ultron – that sees some of those heroes sent into the present and past using Doctor Doom’s time machine to set things right and unspool that future. It certainly looks like time is broken or will be broken during and after Age of Ultron.

During C2E2, Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort was asked about the continuity impact of a key death in AoU so far:

    A fan asked whether Marvel would have to rewrite the history of Hank Pym if he dies in the past, and Brevoort pointed him towards Waid’s (Age of Ultron) #10 A.I one-shot.

That is a book that seemingly is led by “a” Hank Pym; past, present or future Hank?

Also, looks like writer Dan Slott is bringing Spider-Man 2099 – from Marvel’s future – into his Superior Spider Man run with issue #17:

    “Bringing in Spider-Man 2099 is fun,” Slott said. “I always knew we were going to get to this, and eagle-eyed readers will find hints of this going all the way back to the beginning of the ‘Big Time’ run.”

Plus, during this past weekend’s C2E2 we learned about X-Men: Battle of the Atom that pits Marvel’s past X-Men (All-New X-Men series), current X-Men (Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine and the X-Men, & X-Men series) with future X-Men. Wow.

Check out seven interesting future X-Men character designs below.

This series will shake out in the following titles:

    • X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1

    • Uncanny X-Men #12-13

    • All-New X-Men #16-17

    • Wolverine & The X-Men #36-37

    • X-Men # 5-6

    • X-Men: Battle of The Atom #2

And, if that wasn’t enough cross-time capers, we also have the Hulk agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. travelling through time to fix it in July’s Indestructible Hulk #11.

    “TIME TO SMASH” PART 1!

    Spinning out of the events of Age of Ultron!

    Hulk’s sent on his most dangerous mission yet, working for a secret subdivision of S.H.I.E.L.D.!

    History’s breaking–and only the Hulk is strong enough to hold it together!

These can’t be coincidences at the House of Ideas.

History is breaking. Time is broken.

What is Marvel Now building to?


DC’s Trinity War Is a Beginning not an End

When DC Comics announced Trinity War would be inter-series event in the pages of Justice League, Justice League of America and Justice League Dark, many fans were surprised. When DC first teased this during 2012 Free Comic Book Day (FCBD), many fans assumed Trinity War would be a standalone mini-series not one set in existing ongoing New 52 series.

Well, DC editor Brian Cunningham recently addressed why Trinity War is being executed the way it is:

    “Frankly, it feels much more a part of the fabric of the DC Universe if it’s within the books themselves. It feels more important. And there’s an opportunity to see the art of three extremely talented guys such as Ivan, Doug Mahnke and Mikel Janin. If it were one mini-series, we’d probably miss that opportunity.”

In addition, DC New 52 series Constantine and Trinity of Sin: Pandora will play a part in Trinity War; as well Shazam who had a co-feature in Justice League for several issues.

Cunningham also teased a few further post Trinity War developments starting with this:

    “And if people really want a big mash-up mini-series with DC’s biggest characters, well…it’s coming.”

Well that seems interesting. Since the Earth 2 / Prime Earth New 52 event is planned for 2014, I wonder what 2013 event this would refer to? Hmm.

Cunningham also spilled that some new books spin out of Trinity War:

    “…New titles, definitely. I’m already two scripts into one of them, and so far, it’s the biggest DC story in scope that I’ve ever been involved with. I can say with no hyperbole that it rocks the DCU to its very core. It’s that good. I wish I could say more!”

Rumour is that Shazam will have one of those series and perhaps the Gail Simone tweet confirmed Plastic Man series may be the other? Granted, Plas seems an odd Trinity War fit. Maybe his is another new series coming up since DC has more than two holes to fill in its future schedule.

Also, DC’s September “event” month – the anniversary of the New 52 kick-off in 2011 – appears to be shaping up to be the rumoured villains month; where each New 52 series is renumbered for one month to the book’s villain. For example, Riddler #1 for the pages of the Scott Snyder penned and Greg Capullo pencilled Batman series.

During C2E2, we heard some more interesting news from DC Vice President of Marketing John Cunningham:

    “During the question and answer period of the panel, a fan asked about a potential “Crime Syndicate of America” series in the New 52. While both Cunningham and DC Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras dodged the question, Cunningham said, “You asked that question about a month before you should have asked it.”

I concur with something I read on Reddit concerning this quote; unless Cunningham misstook the Secret Society who are currently being built up in the pages of Justice League and rumoured to be involved in Trinity War, I don’t see a Crime Syndicate #1 book replacing Justice League in September. Wouldn’t a Secret Society #1 make more sense?

So, perhaps, if we do get a Crime Syndicate #1, could that be the book that replaces Earth 2? We know that writer James Robinson is building a multiverse cross-over in 2014. Why not bring in Earth 3’s Crime Syndicate to be part of that?

I’d love to see an ongoing Crime Syndicate or Earth 3 series with heroes Lex Luthor and Joker facing that classic evil Justice League in the Syndicate?

Sounds like fun.

And on the cross-time caper front, we now have the confirmed All-Star Western #20 cover with time-travelling and time-displaced Booster Gold with Western bounty hunter Jonah Hex. Plus in issue #22 we see Hex in modern day. Co-writer Jimmy Palmiotti says they’re building to something big. DCU big. Hmmm.

Fun times ahead for the DC New 52 too.

Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome.


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